Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vegetarians, from the other point of view!

This is too funny!

Liminal Time and My Eating

When I was in Seminary we learned about a concept called "liminal time". This is time between time, the transition point. Time when change is occurring, when we are "in between". Holy Week is liminal time. It's not lent, it's not NOT lent...it is something in between. Liminal time is about transition, about becoming.

Other loose examples of "liminal time" in life might be when one is traveling, say for instance the exciting and yet sad interruption I experienced when I had to fly down to Texas for my grandfather's funeral in January. Moving to a new city was certainly a transition point. In such a case, the liminality morphs into a new normal and it can be a disorienting experience. And it can take a long time. I expect too much from myself. I expect things to be easier than they ever are, and I expect myself to handle things with more strength and sanguinity than I ever do. I am trying to learn to be kind to myself.

My struggle this week has made me realize something: during these transition points, these "in betweens" I have a very very very hard time controlling my eating. It's liminal time and the usual rules don't quite apply to life and neither do the eating rules (of course the moral rules, the God things never go away...not talking about that). I find myself reaching for the fritos and the bread this week, and really struggling to put them down. Each day is a new day, and the hard part usually does not hit until late at night when it's just me and my sadness and the liminality.

I had the same trouble during the funeral trip and very much the same trouble during our transition to Louisville. A year's worth and thirty pounds worth of trouble with my eating.

Why do I reach for food (um, I mean carbs) during transition points? Why do, when the ordinary becomes extraordinary, does it HAVE to involve throwing out the this-is-good-for-me food rules for me? Why does feeling sick from eating bread for dinner with my soup have to accompany this phase of the journey? (You might argue that it does not have to, and that might be true on a logical level, but on a deeply personal level I have not moved past the must have bread NOW of it all.) I know. It's a comfort thing.

It's just an observation I'm making about myself along the way of my journey. I don't precisely know why I'm sharing it in such a public way. I suppose that such an observation might have value for another. It certainly is a good thing to have figured out about myself. Because now that I realize this, I can start working on improving or accepting. It might just be ok to accept, rather than to try to change yet another thing about me.

Constant personal improvement is exhausting.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Today: Cleaning house! Then there was another Pysanky egg to be made (this is my third, second following a traditional pattern) and some meat balls are baking in the oven, destined first for the freezer, second for a crock pot and third for the Pascha pic nic!

This evening there will be Bridegroom Matins. Time turns upside down during Holy Week, and versperal liturgies are in the morning and matins services are held in the evening. We remember the ten virgins with the oil lamps and we are admonished to be among those who are prepared for the Bridegroom's coming.

We sing:

Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is that servant whom He shall find watching, and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, lest you be given up to death, and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom. But rouse yourself crying: Holy, Holy, Holy, art Thou, O our God, Through the Theotokos have mercy on us.

The kids and I are still ploughing through the Gospel of Matthew together. We hope to be on schedule by Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to read those chapters in "real time"...or at least close to it.

The house smells like bratwurst from the swedish meatballs I'm making. I guess they have some of the same spices in them. At any rate it smells really good and I"m having trouble thinking of what to make for a lenten supper as a result. It's always tough to fit meals around services when things get busy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Just One Verse, Lord."

Today is one of those days when I got up early and will be going until late. Too much on my plate. I did cancel one appointment (Eric's piano lesson), and that helped a wee tiny bit. You see, because we had Vesperal Liturgy for the Annunciation last night (and those always make me tired), I did not go grocery shopping in the afternoon as I normally do. So the shopping fell to today. And I have American Heritage Girls tonight. And Eric needed a suit for Pascha. And, and, and.

So...what all did I do? Up this morning (I was late for Matins because while I was eating breakfast I discovered that blogger has a new template thingy and I was trying to redesign my blog a bit. I'm only mariginally happy with what's up now. I'm sure it will change soon.) Then coffee with a friend. Home again to help kids get started on school work, then out the door to meet the Farmer and get my eggs and milk and cheese and beef. Then home again to make lunch. Did all that, then I decided to cancel piano (it was funny because his teacher also wanted to cancel and we were both heming and hawing on the phone. We finally figured out that we were BOTH feeling overwhelmed today, so all was well.)

I took Eric shopping for his suit and it could not have been better. I didn't really know where to go, so decided to try Shaheen's which is owned and operated by a family from our Church. Walked right in, the owner recognized us, we found the suits and she escorted us through the process. The whole time I'm thinking "Oh no, what if they are too expensive!" and I dared not look at the price tag. Eric tried on one suit, which came complete with pants, shirt, vest, tie and jacket...and it was marked down to THIRTY dollars. Ok, so it's not wool, but for a boy's suit it looks nice enough...and that price! I would have paid twice that and felt like I was getting a good deal. So that went well, thanks be to God.

After the kids had their school work done, they had a movie to watch, so I dashed back out the door (I hate errandy days) to get groceries...well, half our groceries. I still need to hit Whole Foods, but I hit the Asian specialty store and stuffmart. Stuffmart of course involved going in, realizing that all the shopping carts were in the parking lot and going back out there to fetch one. I'm sure my fat cells appreciated the extra steps I took. Got groceries.

And then I was tired. But of course there must be food put away and what's for supper(????) and in two hours there's an AHG meeting to go to....so I made supper early and sat down. And here I am. I baked a low carb strawberry cake (with coconut flour and strawberry puree and erythritol) and made some curry and started some rice. So here I sit. Aching all over and very very tired. Still have AHG to do.

So I'm at the end of my energy but far from the end of my day. I need a little grace, you know, a little encouragement, a little love. 'Cause it's hard to feel the love when I'm in pain. It's hard not to just be pissy and grumpy and depressed when I ache all over. But I try. "So, just one verse, Lord." I asked, as I reached for my Bible.

Yes indeed...I decided to descend to the random Bible poke today. And to read it personally. (I'm trying to set aside my fifteen year old seminary-induced biblical ennui and read the Bible as a personal love letter from God to me...please don't laugh or criticize me, it's where I'm at, OK?) And here it is:

"You shall also be a crown of beauty in the Lord's hand, and the diadem of a kingdom in the hand of your God." --Isaiah 62:3

I will? Me? The achy tired frumpy woman that I am?


I'll take it!

And we have the winners!

Rebecca and Hezra!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My First Pysanky

I know it's far from perfect, but I'm still the proud mama of my very first pysanky egg! As the saying goes: Practice makes perfect!

The kids are alternately concentrating, getting frustrated and having a good time with this activity, and are doing a remarkable job of taking turns.

Pascha Baking Plans

Tabitha was asking for the gluten free Kulich recipe, so I figured I could do a post on my Pascha baking plans. (Follow the link above to the recipe I plan on using). I've not tried that recipe yet, but it looks pretty standard, so I'm not too worried.

Bethany's been doing just fine off the GAPS diet and I really believe that the addition of soaked grains (all gluten free) has been good for her. She seems more energetic more often.

So, I suppose I need to find some large cans for baking the Kulich in. I guess I'll have to remember to save some large diced tomato cans when I make soup, or perhaps get my kids to eat some of the canned peaches that are in the pantry.

Additionally, there's a lovely blog called Mennonite Girls Can Cook, that has lots of nice recipes, including paska and Kulich, and gluten free kulich. Check it out. If you go there, notice she has a nice big button on the right hand side for Pascha recipes.

It IS kind of strange that all these Pascha recipes are being shared outside of the fasting/feasting cycle, but rather strictly from a cultural/ethnic background, but Mennonite Girls Can Cook is hands down the most gorgeous cooking blog I've ever seen. It's so totally the way I would cook if my health and waistline would let me, but alas, I have to save the bread and stuff for major major feast days. It's good for my soul, no doubt.

On the cheese spread front, again, I refer you to the Mennonite Girls can cook blog for a recipe. There's a search bar on that blog too. Very convenient. I, of course, will be buying my cream cheese, cottage cheese, and butter and eggs from my local farmer (along with fresh milk and hopefully a few pounds of beef!!!!! Yay, beef!) and plan on making some cheese spread from those fresh ingredients. Let me tell ya, fresh cream cheese tastes nothing like that Philly stuff you buy in the store. It is so much better! Last year I made too much, and I swore I'd never make any more, but now that it is upon us, I just can't resist.

So next week, when I'm not in Church, or busy trying my hands at dying Pysanki Eggs (or helping kids to try their hands at it), I'll be in the kitchen making all these goodies.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

OK, Enough About Obamacare, already!

I'm just sick of it, aren't you?

And ironically enough, we've been getting a royal run around from both this year's and last year's health insurance companies this week. Wes has borne the brunt of this with phone calls and sitting on hold for an hour before his phone died the other day.

The sun is shining, kids are happy and every evening this week I've had choir practice. Therefore, I'm skipping Church tonight. And then I'll take us all there tomorrow for the feast of the annunciation.

Guys, it's PASCHA in a week and a half!!!! I need to collect my supplies and do some baking: Going to make gluten free and regular kulich. Going to make a cheese spread. Need to decide what else to put in our pascha basket. Need to take Maia shoe shopping. And of course plan for food, etc.

On Sunday we are planning to drive to St. Athanasius for the pascha pic nic, if we are still welcome.

It was a good day for a trip to the zoo yesterday. Every day has so much to do. Full to the max.

Are we all enjoying SPRING???? I sure am. Ahhhh, sunlight!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Outing Myself

I watched CNN last night, and when the bill passed, I hooted and hollered. I'm so happy. I know. It's not the "done thing" to be happy about this legislation in "Christian Circles", is it? Well, it depends on who you ask. (Me being the left leaning pro-life political agnostic type who doesn't fit in anywhere and who can't bring herself to vote because all the candidates stink).

I don't understand why everything has to boil down to the abortion issue for conservatives. Yes, unborn lives are important, but so are born lives. What about the man I know who has lived with chronic knee pain (he needs surgery) for years, but because his condition is pre-existing since childhood, he can't afford to buy insurance to cover himself and get the surgery he needs? What about children who get sick and are hospitalized and then have a pre-existing, like kidney failure or liver failure or both, and then can't get insurance after that? What about my own daughter who has a very very expensive illness, for whom we cannot buy better health insurance than what her dad's work offers, because her illness is pre-existing? (Our out of pocket on meds each month would cover a premium for better insurance that would cover more).

What about us?

I have heard some say that this Bill is going to lead to many personal bankruptcies. I don't quite see how that's going to work, but still: What about the people who already have declared bankruptcy for whom medical expenses were a factor?

What about them?

People who have never lived without health insurance, or who don't have chronic illnesses, pre-existing conditions, etc. have no idea how stressful it is to not have that safety net. There's always this niggling panic in the back of your head: What if something happens that we can't afford?

I remember when the kids were younger and we did not have health insurance for a time. I was the most paranoid and cautious mom. I did not want them climbing on anything, jumping off of anything...I lived in utter fear that someone would break an arm or a leg and have to go to the emergency room. Thanks be to God that never happened. And thanks be to God, by the time Bethany got sick we DID have health insurance, so our costs were reduced.

But reduced is not gone. It's just reduced. And sometimes, on some drugs, reduced is still too much for a family budget.

I'm so happy for all the people who have the good sense to never get sick, and who are not afflicted in any way. I'm so happy for all the people whose own children are all glowing and healthy, who can worry about whether "their" dollars are going to fund someone else's immoral choices. Wouldn't that be nice if that's all we had to worry about?

But here's my take on it: I think this Bill is going to create an America in which fewer women choose abortions because they feel like it's a safer place to raise a child. Because they don't fear for their own health. Because they can go to the doctor when they are sick and not let whatever that ails them develop into something more serious.

See, this is the reality for millions and millions of Americans. Not being able to go and get a prescription for antibiotics when you have bronchitis. Not being able to go to the doctor for that chronic knee pain. Knowing you need thyroid medicine but not being able to afford to go to the doctor to get it because you lost your job and you don't have insurance.

I had a conversation with a friend once who has a very rare illness which is very expensive to treat. She said that she was rapidly approaching the lifetime maximum on their insurance. So after that, I asked: What then? "I guess I'll prepare to die", she said.

I see so much how much good these new laws can do. I'm just a bit glad.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm feeling sad

My priest, Father Alexander is retiring form parish priesthood at the end of June, and taking a job at St. Tikhon's Seminary. This will be good for him: less work, and time to undergo chemotherapy for his stage four cancer. He joked that if/when he dies, it will cut costs for Olga to bury him, that she could just roll him down the hill. Apparently he's already purchased his burial plot there.

He'd already made the announcement on Friday evening to a small group at the Akathist service, and a friend told me yesterday. Then, today after Liturgy he told everyone. Father Gregory led us in standing up and shouting Axios! (Worthy!) and we sang "God grant you many years"...rather feebly and through tears.

I'm sad. I'm selfish and I'm sad. It's taken me this long just to start to "click" with Fr. Alexander, since I think he's rather hard to "read". But when he told me recently that I"m the funniest person (or one of the funniest) he's ever met, I realized that he's been getting my wisecracks all along and just never lets on. Yeah, that's me. Wisecracks. In front of the priest and bishop. The thing I said that got him to say that is when I looked at Bishop Mark and said: "I sure do miss me some of that doctrine of eternal security!" ;-)

But I think St. Tikhon's is getting a very wonderful gift in Father Alexander and Matushka Olga. What precious, precious people!

And now we pray that God would send us a very good priest who is better for us than we all deserve, and who can be a Father and a shepherd to this large flock. Please keep St. Michael's, and Bishop Mark, and Father Alexander and Matushka Olga (and their grown kids) in your prayers as we all undergo this transition in our various ways.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gather Ye Rosebuds...

made from an old bed sheet. I needed more kitchen aprons and so went fabric shopping in my linen closet.

And yes, the pocket has a pleat in it to be intentionally pouffy. Not that it really needed a pocket. That was just for fun.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Remembering Raw Milk in Switzerland: The Old Way

When I was a kid, growing up in Basel, Switzerland, there was raw milk for sale at the little corner store down our street. It was a mom and pop shop, and literally just was big enough to walk into. There was one aisle from the door of the store to the counter. Food stuff lined that one aisle and much could be had from behind the counter, if one had the courage to ask. Mother would send me to the store with a litte list, which I usually handed to the shop keeper, who would fill my order.

I must have been five or six when my mother would send my brother and me down to that store for little items that she needed. The shop owner would always give us kids a piece of chiclet chewing gum when we came in to make a purchase. The first time we ever shopped there alone, and were the recipients of that gift of chewing gum, my mom asked us if we had properly thanked the shop lady for the gum. No, we had not. She marched us right back down to the that corner store and told us exactly what to say. At the time, my Swiss German was very much in its early stages, so the whole way there, I practiced my line. Feeling very shy when I finally reached my destination, I rapidly stuck my head into the shop door (of course there was a bell that chimed) and blurted "Danke fuers Kaugummi!" and got out of there like a bat out of hell. I don't know why I was so shy. Culture shock and not knowing the language, perhaps?

Sometimes, the item we needed to buy was milk. My mother always sent us to buy the cartons of ultra-pasteurized milk in the waxy cardboard 1 liter boxes. What else was there, right? But I do have a memory.

You see, across from that store, across the busy street that we were only allowed to cross at the cross walk with the traffic light, there was a farm. My kindergarten class even took a field trip to that farm one day, as I recall. This farm had maize fields growing near the street and a long tree lined driveway leading straight up to the farm house and barnyard. The buildings were typical of Swiss farms: Deep stone walls, wooden shuttered windows and a steeply slanted slate roof. Perhaps the cow barn was attached to the house. They usually are. I remember seeing cows, some horses, pigs, a hay mow, chickens and of course barn cats...all the usual things and animals for a typical, traditional multi-varied farm. We lived near the edge of town and the city had grown up around this farm that had clearly been there for centuries.

And the lady in the shop, one day when I was in there for something, was serving another customer. This was a mystery to me. For the customer brought in a bucket. And the shop lady dipped into a container behind the counter and filled the customer's bucket with fresh milk. Not milk in a carton. Milk from a big silver colored milk cannister. I had no idea at the time that it was raw milk, or what the deal was. I just figured it was "weird milk" that little old Swiss ladies drank who insisted on doing things the old way, and paid no attention to it. I did briefly wonder how one got into that particular loop, but it never occurred to me to find out more or to ask questions. I was too young at the time, and did not speak enough German, and I was never a very inquisitive child.

My other memory of raw milk was at the place where we used to go on vacation in the Swiss Jura Mountains. A friend of our family let us always use their vacation cabin which was situated on a Swiss farm. I suppose it was a dairy farm because they mostly all are, but there were pigs there too. And I do recall Herr Scheidegger working hard to fill his barn with hay for the winter. The cows, of course, were beautiful Swiss brown cows, each with her own bell. (Incidentally, each cow has her bell tuned differently and collectively each herd has it's own "sound"...so a good farmer will know when/if a cow is missing, just by sound alone. Not that these creatures have a tendency to wander off. They don't.) The pastures surrounded the farm were lush green and each day the cows grazed a different one. Healthy cows eating healthy grass in the fresh country air, and making lots and lots of milk, the old way.

Morning and night they would line up and file into the barn. We got to go and watch Herr Scheidegger with his old fashioned milking stool strapped to his butt with a belt and a single peg. Sometimes he would milk by hand and sometimes he would hook his cows up to a milking machine. I remember big pots of udder cream, and the ever present barn cats. Frau Scheidegger's kitchen was always immaculately clean, as was all the milking equipment.

As a child I was more charmed by the inch worms in the barn yard than the taste of this novelty item we got to drink while we were on vacation: Raw milk...served straight from the cooling cannister right there in the barnyard: The old way..

I can "visit" my old neighborhood using Google streetview. The corner store is long gone, but the farm is still there and looks exactly the same. This makes me so very very happy because maybe it means someone out there is still doing things the old way.

Vile Smell of the Week

I cleaned some spoiled fish out of my freezer yesterday and forgot to take out the trash until just now when I came home from a lovely spring-time walk at the nature center and noticed how bad my home smelled.


Just keepin' it real, ya'll.

Blog Giveaway: Free to a Good Home!

I am happy to announce another blog giveaway. I turned the ugliest fabric ever into two plus size apron/smocks. Now, I know for a fact that there are people out there in the multiverse who think this fabric is adorable. And to that end, I did my very best to make these aprons cute and attractive.

The apron with blue trim was my first ever effort at using seam binding, so there's a wee bit of evidence of my lack of experience, but it's still OK (and I am giving them away for free after all). The green-trimmed apron, if I do say so myself, is spit spot perfect.

These would fit size 1x-3x I think.

So, please, let me know if you want to enter the drawing, and one week from today I will hopefully pull YOUR name out of a jar.

Leave a comment with your name and e-mail or send me a private e-mail at alanasheldahl at gmail dot com to enter.

I just know SOMEONE out there likes this fabric. But it is most definitely NOT me. Purple...makes me shudder.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Breastplate

Lorica of Saint Patrick

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

St. Patrick (ca. 377)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

What He Said

Please go and read this short post by Fr. Stephen Freeman. Yes, if someone were to ask me "what are you learning this lent?" I'd have to point to this and say "What he said."

Because You Asked

Hi there, I am wanting to go low carb again, and it is hard with Lent here. I would be interested in hearing about what you think of a vegetarian diet from a penitential aspect, but when a person is carb sensitive. I would like to be more penitential myself, but am not willing to gain weight.
Lenten blessings,
L in WA

Hello L in WA,

I'm going to try to answer your question to the best of my ability. This means I might end up blogging about some pretty personal stuff. Pray for me.

Lent this year is the first year I've ever felt like I was "keeping the fast". And ironically enough, I have NOT been "keeping the fast" in a strict sense. Let me explain. Ideally, Orthodox Christians are asked to fast from meat, dairy, eggs, fish, oil (or olive oil depending on your interpretation) and wine. What have I been fasting from? Olive oil (that one's easy, come on!), meat and wine. What have I NOT been skipping: dairy and eggs and some fish sometimes.

But here's my caveat: I am very very carb sensitive and for most of lent thus far, I've also been strictly avoiding carbs. So in a sense I have been "fasting from" my very favorite foods in the world: bread, sugar, crackers, cookies, potatoes, pasta (I sure do miss pasta!), fruit etc.

And to make matters even more boring, I am allergic to another lenten staple: Nuts, especially peanuts. No peanut butter, no sunflower seed butter, or anything like that for me!

In years past, I have always used lent, and the strict adherence to the lenten fasting diet as an excuse to eat the very foods that I am wont to indulge in, and which make me sick. The very foods that feed my passions. THIS IS NOT FASTING even though technically correct. (Speaking of course strictly of my own heart and not judging any one else at all).

What sort of fruit did I get for my "fasting" in the past? Obsessive worry about my body, a very very bloated gut (I had to wear a maternity top one year to pascha because I'd been eating too many carbs and my body could not deal with them), weight gain, self pity, illness, and very indulged flesh.

So, this year I am staying on my low carb plan. I'm eating lots and lots of vegetables, so much shrimp that I dream about it at night (yes, indeed! The other night I was dreaming about taco sized shrimp. Gross. I don't normally ever dream about food-usually my dreams are about running away from tornadoes and falling off cliffs). I"m eating eggs. I don't really like eggs. This is hard. I'm using coconut oil and palm oil for my cooking and baking. I'm using cream and butter and eating cheese (but avoiding the fancy kinds). Occasionally I'll open a can of tuna, or cook a little bit of fish. Maybe once a week.

[Aside: in case you are worried about how many saturated fats are in my diet...my cholesterol is LOW. Almost too low. So there.]

But like I said, the bread and things like that are not much at all part of my diet. I have moved into phase 2 of MM, and am allotted 20 gram of carb every 5 hours. So the occasional slice of bread, or the occasional high fiber english muffin, or the occasional orange or apple or glass of milk is included now...but it's strictly portioned and strictly counted and certainly is not indulging anything. Portion control.

What about the spiritual aspect of all of this?

Well, for once I'm finally being obedient to the type of diet my doctor has told me to follow. This is important for Orthodox Christians with health concerns. I've spoken with priest after priest after priest, and they all say the same thing: obey your doctor. So that comes first.

It has taken me years to surrender the pride of wanting do "do lent correctly" in order for me to "get it". This is what self denial looks like for me, in my body. I can't indulge myself and call it self denial any longer. I know myself and I know my own passions and sins.

What sort of fruit is it bearing? Well, lent is supposed to make us more aware of the spiritual, bring us to a place of penitence and dependence on God. It's here to "break us" a little bit, make us long for resurrection. It's here to help us to repent.

From that perspective, I'd say lent is bearing better fruit in my heart this year than it has when I've lived on bread alone. ;-)

And yes, following a carb-restricted eating plan without MEAT is not easy, even with the eggs, cheese, shrimp and tuna. I can tell the difference when I'm not eating beef, or chicken. My body misses bone broth and liver. I'll be glad when lent is over.

I would say this is the most important thing: Talk to your doctor and talk to your priest. Don't just use going on a low carb diet as an excuse not to follow the fast. But if you have blood sugar issues or some other health concern that necessitates carb restriction, be obedient to your doctor, and talk to your priest about it.

Pray for this sinner. I hope I did not write too much here and cause anyone to sin.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sewing Plans: Dresses and the Ugly Apron Project

I hope to squeeze some sewing time into my busy schedule this coming week. Perhaps I'll even do the cutting tomorrow.

The fabric I ordered came the other day and it's all washed and ready to be pressed and cut. Two dresses await. With all the Church coming up in the next few weeks, I really want them done. Especially in time for Holy Week.

AND when I was going through my stash, I found a bunch of really ugly cotton fabric. It has purple, lime green and light blue butterflies, turtles, fish, ducks, flowers and perhaps some other odd creature. What a motley collection of creatures in some very odd colors! I have enough of this fabric for a dress, but methinks the ONLY justifiable use for this stuff is to try and challenge myself to turn it into as cute an apron as possible. Towards that end, I bought bias tape and ric-rac in the various colors found in the fabric. Perhaps I'll delve into my stash and find some eyelet lace for some trim or something, and we shall see what I come up with. Don't worry, I'll post pictures.

I'm quite a fan of aprons, you know. It's because I'm such a klutz around the house and in the kitchen. Often I'll just get dressed and put an apron on over what I'm wearing. I live in fear of accidentally going out of the house to run an errand or going to an appointment still wearing an apron. You see, the aprons I have are not dignified. No, they are girly and cutesy with tiny little rose buds and the like. Very embarrassing, but there it is. Now you know. I indulge my Hollie-Hobbiezilla urges via my aprons.

Speaking of shoes...I took my youngest shoe shopping for some spring/summer Church shoes for both of us. She found the most adorable silver colored flats (I'm a mean mom who encourages her daughters not to wear heels when they are ten, or fourteen or sixteen for that matter), and I found the CUTEST pair of brown shoes with small heels for SEVEN DOLLARS on clearance at Shoe Carnival. Had to have them. Yes I did. So to make up for that I went to Payless and got the cheapest pair of white flats (what I was originally shopping for) that I could find. Yay for Payless. So basically, I got two pairs of shoes and stayed within what had been budgeted.

I think, when I'm done with my sewing, especially the Ugly Apron Project, I'll post pictures. Not that the Apron will be ugly necessarily, but the fabric I'm working with...yowzers! How, you ask, did I come by the ugly fabric? A friend gave it to me, of course.

Seeking Peace in My Own Heart and the Art of Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance

I would have written "Zen and the Art..." but I'm not Bhuddist, so there.

We bought our vacuum cleaner in November of 2008. It's a Hoover Wind Tunnel. Big, bulky and rather heavy. When we got it, it worked like a dream.

Somewhere in the past seventeen months it has stopped being wonderful and merely been a big pain the butt. Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to vacuum around here. And when they do(usually involving vast amounts of monetary compensation-which is how the kids earn their allowance around here), it doesn't clean correctly.

I'm sure you have had similar frustrations with your own vacuum, whatever the brand. This seems to be a perpetual vacuum cleaner reality.

So today, in a fit of frustration, I decided to actually turn the stupid thing upside down and see if I could figure out WHAT the heck is going on with it.

Duh! Duh! Duhduhduhduhduh! Why did I not do this, like, SIX MONTHS AGO???????

And yes, I did unplug it first.

Materials needed: Philips head screwdriver. All the while muttering to myself "This vacuum cleaner SUCKS...except that it doesn't." har har.

So I unscrew the bottom. Lets see: We have in our family three long haired daughters, a seamstress (lots of thread on the carpet), two knitters and one spinner.

Imagine what the beater bar on this vacuum cleaner looked like.

Materials needed: Scissors.

I took the beater bar out and realized that not only was it hopelessly clogged with detritus, the belt was also broken.

Duh! Duhdudhduhduhduh. No wonder it was so stankin' (that's an actual work in Kentucky) hard to push. No beater bar means you are pushing with resistance. Like something out of a Greek myth designed to torture in a purgatorial way.

So, I start cutting the nasty hair and string and wool roving and yarn off the beater bar, glad that I'm apparently not allergic to dust. I ended up getting a comb and combing out the bristles on the beater bar. Finally it was clean. Had to run to K Mart for a new belt, but that was easy to do.

I managed to put the belt on and get the beater bar back into place without breaking a nail or buggering up my knuckles (which is what typically happens when I do vacuum cleaner maintenance, which might explain why I'm so reluctant to do it), and the bottom plate screwed back in.

Suddenly the vacuum works like it did when we first bought it. The rotating beater bar pulls the heavy machine across the floor, it actually sucks up dirt and combs the fibers on our carpet. Easy McPeasy!

Now, why did I not think of this sooner?

I'm blogging this, so that you can go get your crappy vacuum cleaner, clean it up, replace it's broken belt, and enjoy it working properly again. Have fun.

My husband is glad because I just saved our family about a hundred and fifty dollars.

Things sure do get dirty fast!

My kitchen floor is sticky, the toilet in the kid's bathroom has a ring of dirt in it (and good grief, it hasn't been all that long since it's been scrubbed!), there's a pile of laundry to sort and put away, and another pile that needs to be washed. The crumbs on the dining room floor are begging to be vacuumed, and when I look around all I see is clutter and dust.

All I want to do is clean my house. With no one underfoot and no one to stop me and unlimited energy to do it with, and no back pain.

But this is not heaven so that won't happen.

Second choice: get everyone to help me clean house and get it done so that we can enjoy the weekend.

That might actually have a ghost of a chance. Wish me luck.

I want to clean house so badly. I should rephrase that: I want a clean home so badly.

"Cardfile system? Did she not post a nifty card file system of eliminating the need for massive weekend cleaning sprees?" you ask yourself. Ah, yes. Yes I did. But you see...there it sits unused and unopened for lo these many weeks. And meanwhile life happens.

It seems like I get pulled away from home in the course of being a homemaker way too often. Grocery shopping, doctor's appointments, getting kids to the dentist...all that stuff. Feels like I can barely think straight on most days between the errands and the meals.

And then I'm perpetually answereing academic quesitons, giving oral drills in English grammar or spelling tests or the like, or doing History read-alouds and such things, that the housework gets squeezed. Always the kids are heaing: "I need to get this dishwasher loaded and then I'll help you with your math." or "I can't hear you with the water running, you need to come in here to ask me that question about prepositions and what case that pronoun is in."

And then there's the fact that I'm not a very peppy type of person, and I'd rather sit and sip coffee (and blog) half the morning long rather than be up and on my feet and doing things. Yes, I fight those urges, but not hard enough it seems. And I DO get out and go to the gym regularly, so that's a chunk of my early morning time. But still. I should be superwoman and do it all, shouldn't I? ;-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blog Giveaway

Hi gang,

I'm doing a blog giveaway over on my other blog. Interested in the ancient Christian practice of wearing a head covering in Church? Go check it out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Obeying the Gospel Commandments

I decided to do a little Lenten exercise with my kids this year. We are reading through the Gospel of St. Matthew between now and Pascha. After we read each chapter, we review it and write down the things that we learned we are to DO, from each chapter.

We've only done four chapters yet, since we just started, but here is what we have come up with from the first four chapters of Matthew:

1. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
2. Worship Him
3. Repent/Turn away from our sins
4. Confess our sins
5. Be baptized
6. Worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve
7. Not live by bread alone, but live by every word that comes from the mouth of God (We discussed that we have to live our lives mindful that this is the "shadow Land" and that the Kingdom of Heaven is our eternal goal, this life is temporary and Heaven is permanent, and that this changes how we approach living our lives).
8. Do not tempt God (Don't dare God to rescue you from stupidity just to "prove he exists").

Well, so far so good. This exercise is at least teaching the kids how to really be attentive to the Holy Scriptures and to listen to what they say with a mind to apply what we read to our lives. I like it.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Low Carb Lenten Lunch

I know I'm not the only person out here trying to cut carbs and eat lenten. So this is why I occasionlly post what I eat. Sorry if this bores you.

Cabbage-n-onion boil with salt and pepper. (I really don't think I need to explain this dish, do I?)

seitan (how do you pronounce that, like Satan?) -which is a low carb wheat gluten fake meat-like substance. Heated in skillet with a wee bit of oil.

Slice of coconut flour coffee cake. Yes, this contains eggs. Oh well. (This is to fill me up.)

Doing a low carb diet meatless and nut-free is HARD. I'm not complaining, mind you, because it's a good kind of lenten "hard". But still. If I shock anyone because I'm eating eggs and dairy...well, try doing this thing with no potatoes, rice or pasta and see what there is left to eat.

I dreamed of shrimp the other night. That's how much of it I've been eating. In my dream they were huge: Taco Sized. The very thought makes me want to gag.

Now I really must get my butt into gear and STOP blogging today and go do something like laundry. Or Sewing. Plenty of mending awaits. And the sun shines. Kids want to get outside. We shall see what the afternoon brings.

Sewing Stuff: Ugly Fabric at the Fabric Store, etc.

I'm serious. Come on. The clothes we all wear these days: Does anyone else secretly think they are ugly? Almost as bad as the 1980's, which at the time we all thought was great just because it wasn't the 70's.

Loud splashy color combinations that just scream. These might look good on insect-like supermodel stick people and if you can pull it off, I'm so happy for you. I can't.

So what's a lady to do? I poked around on-line, and while I think that it's somewhat risky buying fabric from an on-line store, I decided to do it anyways.

Here's what I bought: This and This.

Not exactly the most trendy things in the world....but then again, neither am I. I walked around all afternoon at various fabric stores asking myself: "Do I get what's "in" or do I get what I like? Do I get what's "in" or do I get what I like?"

I decided to go more to the "what I like" side of things, although I am toning down my ragamuffin-zilla urges somewhat.

Before I knew better, I used to shop in the quilting cottons to make dresses (that was, like, fifteen years ago, OK...It WAS the 1990's and I wasn't the only one...at least not in the circles I ran around in at the time.) I really believe that that only works if you are 8 years old or under. Sometimes not even then.

I really need to get into period costuming. That way I could live out all my garment fantasies. But I refuse to wear regency gowns around the house and out and about town. I'm just not there. Hats off to the ladies who can do it, though. Yay for self-confidence.

This summer: I'm making a wedding dress! But not for me. Ha! Dh and I will be having our 18th anniversary this summer. No, this is for a cute gal at Church. Yay for wedding dresses.

I keep thinking I ought to sew a few baptismal gowns and put them in the Church bookstore, or on an etsy page for something. Those are fun, too.

Oh well. Not like I'm not busy enough as it is. Especially when I sit around all morning blogging instead of getting anything productive done.

Don't forget to write about your Vile Smell of the Week and post me a comment with a link, please!

Vile Smell of the Week

I thought it would be fun to start a "blog thing" called Vile Smell of the Week. It's for us domestic goddess blogging types. As we all know, being a home-maker allows us to come across a wide range of olifactory offensiveness in the course of our exciting and very important lives. And we should encourage one another, you know?

So, if you want to participate, please blog about a vile smell in your own home, and then link back to my blog. And post a comment in the comments section of this blog so that I can go and enjoy all the nastiness that other people encounter in the course of their housekeeping.

Here's my vile smell of the week story:

I came in from Church yesterday (the rest of the family had already arrived home and were grabbing a bite to eat-sometimes we drive separately if I'm giving my neighbor a ride) and when I opened the front door and nasty smell hit my nose. Almost like rotting meat, but not quite. How could it be? It's lent.

Was there a dead mouse somewhere in our apartment? We did not know.

"Eeeeeeew, what's that smell? It stinks in here!" Everyone agreed with me and told me they could smell it, too. Rotting, pungeant...bad. Not quite the same sort of bad as a rotting potato (one of the worst!), but right up there in the nasty category, let me tell you. My husband was already washing dishes in hopes of eliminating the odor, and I started bagging up the trash in the living room, although I doubted that junk mail and orange peels could generate such a foul smell.

After a few minutes of putzing around, wondering what the smell was, I walked into the kitchen and leaned against the wall near the shelf where we do things like lacto-ferment sauerkraut, and the like.

Ah. Found it! I'd been giving a bag of dried black beans a three day soak and I forgot about them! Forgot to change the water. Eeeeeeeeeew! They were festering. Vile scumy foam on top of the soaking water. And yes, they smelled like dead meat.

Perhaps that bodes well for the protein content of black beans, but eeeeeeew. I'm sort of off them now, for a while. The very thought turns my stomach.

So, there you have it. What's your Vile Smell of the Week?

Friday, March 05, 2010

It sure smells good!

1 package of lentils that I pre-soaked all day in water and a bit of whey.
several handsfull of small organic golden potatoes, cut up
1 onion, cut up
dollop of coconut oil
a couple or three of organic carrots, cut up.
a couple of cloves or garlic, crushed

Filtered water to cover all

1 Tablespoon of salt and 1-2 T. of this lebanese spice mix that contains: Allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, coriander, ginger, clove and nutmeg.

Too bad I can't eat it!

I added some of the spice mix to some leftover clam chowder and that was a BIG mistake. Now I need to come up with something entirely different for my low carb dinner, while my family feasts on the goodness that is this lentil and potato soup. Sigh.

Song Lyrics

After a several years-long dry spell, I finally have another song to let moulder in my notebook. I'm not a good musician (untrained. Barely more than one year of guitar lessons) and I don't have a good voice (I hide in the choir at Church by singing quietly) but I love music and I love to sing. And I love writing songs. Ironic, isn't it? Well, I reckon it's God-pleasing at any rate.

Stay with me Lord
by Alana Sheldahl
adapted from a prayer by Padre Pio

Stay with me Lord
I must have you present
So I do not forget you
or abandon you,
Stay with me Lord

Stay with me Lord
because I am weak
I need your strength
so I don’t fall
Stay with me Lord

Stay with me Lord
you are my life
and without you
I am without fervor
Stay with me Lord

Stay with me Lord the hour is late
and the day is drawing to a close
Stay with me Lord for death approaches
Oh how I need you in this night of exile
Stay with me, Jesus, I must have your presence
this alone I ask of you: Stay with me Lord
Stay with me Lord, stay with me Lord

Stay with me Lord
you are my light
and without You
I remain in darkness
Stay with me Lord

Stay with me, Lord
and show me your will
So I can hear your voice
and follow You
Stay with me Lord

Stay with me Jesus let this Eucharist sustain me
Your body and your blood: Joy of my heart
Stay with me Lord it’s You alone I look for:
Your love your grace your spirit, heart and will
Stay with me Lord because I love you
I ask no reward but You
and to love you more and more
Stay with me Lord, stay with me Lord
stay with me Lord....

...the hour is late...

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Word about the Obesity Epidemic

In all the current national kerfluffle about Healthcare Reform, one thing keeps popping up as a prevenable medical thing, and that is the obesity epidemic. It seems that "everyone" (the ubiquitous "they") is all up in arms about this thing, this reality that has hit our country, our western world. Everywhere coca-cola and McDonald's go, there is the obesity epidemic.

And it is such a scandal. Such a shame. Shame! Shame! Shame! A national shame and a personal shame! oh, the scandal of it all! How dare we be so fat!?!!!!

Our health is in crisis and our health care system, some say, is in crisis. The way we are insured is in crisis. It's all coming to a head and it's so easy to look around and point fingers at greasy food or a supposedly lazy people with muffin-tops hanging out of their jeans. It's perfectly acceptable to despise the fat. Ask me how I know. I listen to talk. And so often, some person will commment about another person (always behind their back) and their weight, with a head shaking in disapproval. This seems to be a socially accepted form of judgement. Be tolerant of everybody...just not Christians or fat people. But I digress.

Now I'm going to speak about the obesity epidemic as an obese person. Yes, I'm obese. By all medical definitions, I fit that category by about 20 pounds, even though usually people say to me "oh, no you aren't obese". But I am. And I feel it.

The problem, you see, with the "obesity epidemic" as it is so called, is that obesity is NOT an epidemic. It's not something that spreads, like a cold or the flu. There is no epidemiology behind this phenomenon.

So, calling it an epidemic feels demeaning and is very inaccurate to what is going on.

And another thing I can tell you: Every single fat or obese person in the world KNOWS they are fat and/or obese. They don't need a doctor to tell them that they are fat. They don't need anyone to tell them that they need to lose weight. We know it. Our backs know it. Our knees know it. Our fatigued energy levels know it.

And I'd hazard to say, speaking for myself and most other overweight people in the world: many of us are somewhat mystified as to what happened. We are living our lives, and suddenly we find ourselves obese. Pregnancy can do it. Caring for others can do it. Suddenly you put yourself behind others, the ones you are caring for and you wake up to a fat body, or an obese body and you wonder about yourself: How did this happen? And you feel shame.

Creeping bad eating and exercise habits are to blame, for sure, but I can guarantee you that very very few people actually realize what they are doing to themselves at the time.

And another thing I can say: If a person is obese, there is a very good chance that that person is very very stressed out about something or other in his or her life. Or sad. Or lonely.

I think the obesity epidemic is more about the sadness and the loneliness and the stress than it is about McDonald's or the food. The food is a symptom and the fat is a symptom. And no one else seems to be asking the question: What is really going on, here?

I think in order to solve the obesity "epidemic" (I'd prefer to call it a phenomenon or perhaps a crisis), I think it would behoove the health care leaders of this nation to dig a little bit deeper and to ask different questions.

Instead of gossiping about the fat gal at Church who gained a bunch of weight and how could she let herself go like that, perhaps we should be wondering with compassion at the stress in her life, and the sadness and the loneliness.

I think we need a new paradigm. Because when I look in the mirror, all I can do is try to solve my own personal obesity problem. And perhaps the new paradigm needs to start with the stories I tell myself, about my own life: About the griefs I bear, the stresses I experience, the giving I do. The new paradigm needs to be about finding balance...(for myself), for persons personally, but also for a nation and a culture.

Because more than anything, when I look around at our obese nation, I see a culture out of balance and people out of balance, and persons-precious persons, who are living stress-filled and sad lives. That, my friends, is what this is all about.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

For Today

Outside my window...gray skies, muddy old grass and a rocking chair on our patio.
I am thinking...that I am coming down with a cold. Already today my patience has been tried and I need to slow my thoughts down and be grace-filled.
I am thankful for...coffee in the morning.
From the learning rooms...today I'll need to look over what kids have done in history so far this week, and keep working with A to do some catch-up. Always there is grammar to review and I'm helping E get ready for an English test. We all loath pronouns, indirect objects, objects of the preposition and the like.
From the kitchen...Wha? I have to cook? AGAIN????? We finished off the "bowl of boredom" soup yesterday, thanks be! What on earth shall I make today? I have no idea.
I am wearing...right now...a night gown a robe. Later, I must wear something both lovely and comfortable, otherwise the day will get much worse than it already is.
I am creating...a child sized top-down cable cardigan in a rich heathered purple wool. And I have the sewing yen these days. Fabric waiting to be cut for a dress.
I am going...to the chiropractor today. My back has been hurting for about two weeks, but I can only afford to go once a month. Australian Dream Arthritis cream REALLY works to get rid of pain.
I am reading...well, last night I finished The Cobra Event by Richard Preston. I need to read something spiritually edifying next, so I guess it's going to be the biography of St. Nektarios.
I am hoping...that I can be both productive and relaxed today. I'm not very good at finding the balance.
I am hearing...my children talking, cars rushing by outside (it's white noise, like ocean waves or something...why don't they make "Soothing Sounds of the City" CDs?)
Around the house...morning stuff. A slow start today. Always dishes and laundry.
One of my favorite things...liturgy of the pre-sanctified gifts on Wednesday nights during Lent.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Helping to organize the food pantry tomorrow afternoon, getting the house tidy today and running out to the library.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
A basket full of hand knitted bears that B made and donated to charity. She's always doing that sort of thing. So special.And here's a link back to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Since it is March

I decided to get out my spring clothes, and sort through my fall/winter clothes and see which ones are just plain too fallish and winterish looking to wear this time of year. Not that I'm putting away ALL my warm things, mind you, just the one's that scream "wear me to visit the pumpkin patch" or "aren't I a charming shade of holiday red?" You know what I mean.

At any rate, there's these vile old t-shirts of mine that got pulled out of my spring/summer bag of clothes. I'd forgotten all about them. Each is a very faded solid color: faded pale blue, faded peach, dingy lime green. Beige. You know the type.

I think that it's time for these t-shirts to meet their bitter end in a garbage can. I felt very un-lovely when I wore them last year and I am thinking that this year they need to go away. I don't have any warm feelings left towards those shirts and my dignity can barely stay intact when I wear them. They are that dingy.

Does anyone else have trouble justifying the riddance of clothing, even when it's vile?

On other "happy" notes today: My husband's company has a mandatory program...well, they say it's voluntary, but those who don't volunteer get to pay a much higher insurance premium each month...where you go in and get your body analyzed for weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI etc. and then you go back again in six months for the same. Supposedly, if one's numbers are the same or improved, you get a hundred dollars on potenially each of five points of measurement. That's five hundred dollars I could earn if my body decides to cooperate with my program.

So this morning I completed the walk of shame at my husband's work place. I filled out forms, got a needle in my arm, had my very excellent blood pressure taken (the lady was all surprised that an obese gal like me could have good BP, pfffft. Not like I'm not trying here, OK?) and had to submit to being measured (yes, I'm still an inch shorter than I used to be, pffft), weighed (down eight or so pounds but pfffft...still obese), and have the fattest part of my abdomen measured. Cringe. Of course I knew all those numbers already. I don't need anyone to tell me that I'm obese, or that my gut is a huge xx inches. Whenever I'm told that I"m at rist because my waist is larger than 35 inches I want to point out that in that case I've always been "at risk" because it's been bigger than 35 inches my entire adult life and I doubt, even were I to weigh something miniscule like 160 pounds, my waist would still be bigger than that. I HATE those stupid charts!!!!!! Stupid stinkin' BM-blankety-blank-I!!!!!

In front of me in line was Wes, who of course has made NO EFFORT over the years to do anything about his weight, his cholesterol or anything and whose BMI is perfection itself. He's the one who has a beer at night and who eats potatoes. He's the one who never ever exercises. I could cry. He's the one who gets congratulated at the weigh-in station. At least he knows better than some not to be smug about it.

Needless to say I felt rotten on the way home, even though I knew in advance what to expect. Instead of feeling proud that I HAVE lost weight, I feel crappy that there is so far to go and that some kid who works for the health care company had to measure my non-waist. Why? Why? Why?

Home School Planning

Home school curriculum decisions have been made for next year. Yay for me. I'm finally, this year, getting the hang of this home school business. Am I very good at it? No, I don't think so. But I am confident that my kids are learning well, and learning what they are supposed to.

Somebody is tracking weather data, another is doing a plant growing experiment, and yesterday's dinner conversation went like this:

"What's the fart gas?"
"Methane, isn't it?"
"Yes! Did you know that there's lots of methane on Uranus? Ha ha ha ha ha."

We are finally to the point where we are re-using some of the more expensive items that we've purchased in the past years (Such as Teaching Textbooks. Worth every penny. But we are also still buying some big ticket items, too. It balances out.

Things I'm excited about: Teaching Textbooks, One Year Adventure Novel, and Tell Me More German. And Apologia Science stuff (Zoology, 7th grade General Science, and Chemistry to be purchased. Biology we already have.) Things I'll try: Switched On Schoolhouse 9th grade English and 9th grade History and SOS language arts for the middle schoolers. Things I'm gonna go with to finish what we started: All American History Volume 2. (I'm using this for my middle schoolers. It's OK, but could use more zest).

For good low prices, I like to order as much as I can from www.pennywiselearning.com

Nothing quite like crisp new curriculum. But meanwhile, we get to continue slogging through this year's stuff. Fuuuuun.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Discoveries and Thoughts

Red Lavender Tea-Oh. yum!

A movie called Sweet Land. Watched it on Netflix streaming. Very very charming, good and wonderful. Set in the 1920's, Minnesota. A love story.

I've also decided that Richard Preston is one of my favorite authors. Everything I read by him is a page turner, IMO. Currently reading the not-so-new fictional book The Cobra Event.

I'm so ready for spring! I guess I could get some of my spring time clothes out and start incorporating them into my wearrables as we transition to warmer climes in the next few weeks. I'm so ready for the skits and sandals phase of the year!

Bowl o' Boredom

1 onion, chopped
a bit of coconut oil, sautee onion

package of frozen cauliflower
family pack of frozen green beans
1 T. salt
crushed garlic
liberal sprinkling of italian seasonings
1 large can of diced tomoatoes
1 gallon of water.

Bring to boil. Boil until veggies are tender. Eat and be bored. Mmmm, lenten, low carb and nutritious!