Wednesday, August 11, 2010

That Feels Better

Up through September 2009, I really didn't write anything personal/emotional on this blog. I did a lot of verbal vomiting about my divorce and other struggles on this blog between September 2009 and March 2010. I just went back and deleted them all (I still have them as drafts) and I feel much better now! Sharing all that really was too much for me -- I am by nature a very private person. I want to be able to help others who are going through the same thing, and I don't mind my closest friends knowing all that I said, but I don't want it out there for the world.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The radio hates me

I have several country stations on my radio presets. The other day I was feeling pretty crappy about being divorced and having given up on marriage. I got in the car and the first song said:
"They called them crazy when they started out
Said seventeen's too young to know what love's about
They've been together fifty-eight years now"

No thanks; I don't want to listen to that today!! So I changed the station and heard this:
"Ooh, we had our ups and downs
All along the way
She had a chance to leave
But chose to stay
What a beautiful day . . ."

"Day eighteen thousand two hundred and fifty-three
Well, honey that's fifty years
Yeah, here's to you and me"

No thanks; change the station again:
"I could just see you, with a baby on the way
And I could just see you, when your hair is turning gray
What I can't see is how I'm ever gonna love you more
But I've said that before

And now you're my whole life
now you're my whole world. . . "


I love that country songs promote committed lifelong marriage -- it's usually so inspiring! But I do NOT appreciate it when I'm already feeling depressed about my marriage being gone!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Me Ordering Sushi on the Phone

Me: Can I get a Las Vegas Roll?
Him: I can't hear you.
Me: Can I get a Las Vegas Roll?
Him: What?
Me: A LAS VEGAS ROLL!
Him: A what?
Me: A! LAS! VEGAS! ROLLLLL!
Him: I can't hear you.
Me: Can I place a to go order?
Him: Sure, what would you like?
Me: A Las Vegas Roll.
Him: OK, 10 minutes

Thursday, March 04, 2010

First Video Blog: Asparagus Soup Recipe

Of course this isn't a real video blog with me actually showing my face; you didn't think I was that brave, did you? I might do a video blog outside, but inside my apartment? Noooooo way. So anyway, here it is -- a nice little recipe for Asparagus Soup.

video

Additional notes:

- This was actually a camcorder test, not intended to be a post, so it's totally unrehearsed and missing half the information. A normal blogger would redo it, but I'm NOT normal!

- I'm kind of congested in this video.

- I start with 4 cups chicken broth/stock made from chicken carcasses. You could also use vegetable broth. If you have no broth/stock, start out by sautéeing some garlic and onions in oil for a few minutes. Even if you have broth, onions and garlic are really good in this soup.

- I used 4 small potatoes this time, but it doesn't really matter; it's really flexible.

- Cut the woody ends off the asparagus before adding to the soup. Also, you can set the asparagus tips aside (maybe steam them separately for a bit) and use them to garnish the soup.

- Blend in small batches and be very careful so you don't kill yourself with boiling hot soup. I like to blend until it's completely puréed.

- I said "one teaspoon" of salt, in case you couldn't hear over the "moooooom". Start with less though. It's really gross if you oversalt it.

- Just add a little lemon. I added the juice of 1/4 lemon to the pot and that was good. Then I added the juice of another 1/8 lemon to my bowl, and that wasn't so good.

- If your broth didn't have any fat in it, add some olive oil, butter, or something fatty at the end. You need fat!

- The amazing thing is that this soup is so good with so few ingredients -- broth/stock, potatoes, asparagus, dill, and salt.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Faith Update

I've posted a little bit about my crisis of faith over the past few months. I've had struggles with the LDS church for a long time, as long as I can remember. But as I contemplate the options ahead, I am just not content with the agnostic/atheist option. If I was to stop attending the LDS Church, I don't see myself ever believing in any other religion. If I left the church, it would be because I don't believe in God at all, and I just don't see that happening. Well, sometimes when I'm discouraged, I can easily see it happening, but generally I can't.

I don't know if I've mentioned gifts of the spirit here before. The scriptures say that some are given the gift of believing and to some it is given to believe on their words. I think I naturally fall into the second category. And the thing is, I DO believe what others testify of. I believe that often we manifest the answers and feelings that we want to feel, but not always. There are just too many amazing things that I feel cannot be explained away.

It is really weird, because I am hesitant to post this because I don't want to lose any of my friends who don't believe or aren't religious. Of course I don't think they would immediately dump me as a friend, but they'd likely feel that this is an area where we don't connect, and that would cause a small loss to the friendship. But I need to quit worrying about what others are doing and quit choosing the choices others have made. I need to do it my own way.

I've tried to convince myself that I've done the necessary work to receive the gift of believing, but looking at it objectively, I don't think I have. I don't know. I go back and forth. So many doubts, but such desire to believe. It's almost impossible to make sense of this, so as usual, I'll just randomly chop the post off in the middle of a thought.

Monday, February 01, 2010

I didn't copy!

I just went over to The Pioneer Woman site, which I haven't done in ages. One of her posts is called "What I Love". I SWEAR I didn't copy when I was titling my post the other day!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How is this possible?

I came across this article about 6 weeks ago in the Ogden Standard Examiner. The part that I want to mention is when they asked potential jurors "Have you or anyone you know been involved in a homosexual relationship?" The article says that "Few among the jury panel of 35 people answered 'yes'."

They don't say how many 'few' is, but I am amazed. I grew up in the geographical area covered by this newspaper. Very quickly, off the top of my head, I can think of 6-7 people I knew from that same area who have been involved in homosexual relationships. It is amazing to me that there are people living in the same area who don't even know a single gay person. I'm guessing that a lot of it has to do with age. I'm thinking that if all the jury panel were my age or younger, the answer to the question would have been yes for everyone.

Oh yeah!

How long could you survive chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor?

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Things I Love

I forgot that I was supposed to occasionally write uplifting and/or happy posts on this blog. Oops.

So, here are two things I love.

I love my curls! My curls are wild and can never be tamed; I love that! They won't give in, and neither will I. As a teenager, I tried to keep my hair as straight as possible. I haven't done that for years. If I wear it up while wet, most of it will be relatively straight when it dries, and sometimes I'll even put it in very gentle steam rollers to relax the curls a bit. But I threw out the round brush and flat iron entirely. A few years ago I set out to truly love my hair, and now I do. My curls are part of me, and I love them. Here is a crazy one.



It starts out thick and spiraling, and then kind of fizzles. I have a whole crop of shorter hair at the nape of my neck, and sometimes it mingles with other curls and I end up with this.

Here is a picture of me and my baby with our lovely curls:



The other thing that I love is my freckles. I refuse to wear any kind of makeup that would cover them or obscure them at all. Sometimes I look in the mirror and despair because I need to get more sun and brighten those freckles back up! This is a marked change from when I was younger. I remember hearing about a woman who got rid of her freckles by religiously wearing sunscreen for two years. I wondered if I had the discipline to do that. Now I wonder why I would ever want that!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Arrgh!!

If comparing the immoral nature of serious crimes such as pedophilia and murder with homosexuality would, in the end, lead one to abandon immoral homosexual conduct and find peace, joy and love, in a straight life, then that act of comparison is worth the effort many times over.


I came across this comment today. This person is trying to defend an LDS person's comparison of homosexuality to pedophilia, bestiality, murder, and rape. Seriously?! Seriously?!???!! No matter how True Blue LDS you are, how is there any way you could defend this? This makes me livid! And no, this guy is not only defending the theoretical comparison of these sins, he is defending saying these things to real, living, breathing, feeling gay people, in order to help them decide not to be gay. And the worst part is, he insists that this is done out of LOVE. Love!!

This is not the place to pick apart the guy's (il)logic. I could go on and on about that. I am just here to discuss my gut reaction to it. I want to scream and rant and shout and explain and convince until I am blue in the face. Yet I can't, because that will destroy me.

Some people can have these discussions and let it roll off them. I can't do that. I used to 'debate' and 'discuss' (argue) on the internet every day. Just ask Chandelle (I am guessing we argued about nutrition and/or the Church). I was miserable. I got angry online and it carried right over to my family life. I take things way too personally and am unable to stay dispassionate and stick to logical arguments. When I see comments like this, I want to respond to be supportive of those who may be deeply hurt by reading the vitriol, but I just end up looking like a ranting lunatic in the end. In the last three months, I've engaged in probably 3 'discussions' that went beyond 'friendly'. And I just can't do it. I don't know if the rest of my life is so out of order that getting involved in these debates sends me over the edge or what, but I can't do it right now.

What do you do? Do you stay silent and let those terrible disgusting words sit unchallenged?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coconut 'Milk'

Most nutritional philosophies that I have studied, including veganism, vegetarianism, raw foodism, and traditional foodism, all agree that grocery store milk is bad news. It comes from cows who are raised on feed lots and pumped up regularly with antibiotics and hormones. Bacterial counts are often very high or are reduced by adding bleach. The milk is adulterated during the processes of pasteurization and homogenization. There are entire websites dedicated to the badness of milk, but I'll stop there.

Vegans, vegetarians, and most raw foodists believe that milk of any sort is bad. Traditional foodists believe that raw milk fresh from a pasture-raised cow is basically the nectar of the gods. However, that comes at a price. I used to get raw milk from a farm south of me, and when I stopped buying it, I think it was up to about $6/gallon. In addition, I was paying the drivers who picked up the milk each week. It ended up coming out to about $50 per month for only a gallon and a half per week.

Since raw milk was too expensive for us, I've occasionally tried to find substitutes. I like the taste of homemade almond milk quite well, but my kids think it is gross because I leave the bitter skins on. I also typically need to add vanilla and a bit of sweetener, which can inflate the cost quickly. I keep reading on raw food blogs about how you can make some quick coconut 'milk' for recipes by blending dried coconut and water. I finally tried it today. It's fast and easy and the kids (at least 1) actually like it!

I used 1 part dried unsweetened coconut to 3 parts water and blended it in the Blendtec until it was totally pulverized to a powder. I then strained the 'milk' through a woven towel, squeezed all the liquid from the coconut pulp/flour, and put the flour into the dehydrator to dry it out. The resulting 'milk' tastes fantastic on its own. I tried adding more water to reduce the cost, but if it's too watery, it doesn't taste very good.

I am calling this 'milk' because this is nothing like the coconut milk you buy in can. This is a thin coconut flavored beverage similar to the consistency of 1% cow's milk. I would use it on cereal, smoothies, or to drink. It is fantastic as a base for hot chocolate.

I'm not sure if the leftover coconut pulp/flour is exactly the same as commercially-sold coconut flour, which is made by grinding coconut fiber after most of the oil has been removed, but it's similar. It's definitely similar enough to be used in raw treat recipes that call for coconut flour, like this one at Vivapura.

Cost Analysis
I bought some dried coconut (sulphured) at the health food store. It was $3.50/pound, which is about 6 cups. You'd end up with 18 cups milk using the 3:1 ratio. That comes out to $3.11 for 1 gallon of coconut 'milk'. That is a pretty great price for an alternative milk. If I remember correctly, almond milk or rice milk from the store is about $8/gallon.

Even better, in the group buy I just completed, I sold unsulphured unsweetened dried coconut for $2.08/pound, which included my profit. This would decrease the cost for a gallon of coconut 'milk' to $1.85, which is right about the same cost as grocery store cow's milk.

When considering cost, you also have to remember that in addition to the 'milk', you're getting free coconut 'flour' as well.

Nutritional Profile
I looked up FitDay.com's entry for "Nuts, coconut meat, dried (desiccated), not sweetened". Using my ratios above, there are 6 cups coconut to a pound, and that makes 18 cups coconut 'milk'. So 1 cup coconut 'milk' uses 1/18 pound coconut, or 0.89 ounces. The nutritional profile for that amount of dried unsweetened coconut is:

From FitDay.com

Of course this assumes that you are consuming the coconut pulp, which you will not be if you throw it away or dehydrate it, put it in your freezer, wait 6 months, and then throw it away (like me).

Template Woes, Part II

I apologize for my layout. I was going to fix it a long time ago but forgot about it. If the post is long, it looks OK, but if the post is short, the banner at the bottom messes everything up. The banners don't fit properly, and my 'Older Posts' link somehow disappeared into cyberspace. Just know that it's on my list of things to do eventually, ha ha!

This Little Piggy

My mom always plays This Little Piggy with YoungestSon's tiny little toes. This morning as I was putting on his shoes, I grabbed his feet and started "This little piggy went to the market. . ." He immediately pulled his foot away and in his cute 2-year old way said "No, Grandma do it!" I didn't understand at first and tried again with the same result. I guess that is Grandma's game and no one else can do it!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Durian!

Ever since I heard about the durian fruit, I wanted to try one. The durian fruit is said to be quite delicious, but it smells awful. In Singapore, they've even banned durians from mass transit! You've got to browse through theWikipedia article - some of the descriptions of the durian's smell are fantastic!

So I've been kind of wanting to try one but haven't been too serious about it. Then Carmella of the Sunny Raw Kitchen wrote about durian this week, and I decided I'd definitely try it soon, but I wasn't really sure where to get one.

Today at work, my coworker (she is from China) and I were preparing our lunches and she said "I'm so embarrassed! My car smells so gross. My parents and I bought this fruit. . ." I said "Oh, was it a durian?" It was, of course. She said you can get them at the Thai/Asian markets around here. She was in California when she had hers, but somehow it stunk up her car (even though it was either frozen in a package or unpeeled in the peel/husk) and she can't figure out how to get the smell out. She said that once you start eating it, the smell isn't bothersome. She also said she likes to buy 1 at a time and eat it with someone else so that they can finish it off all at once. She said you DO NOT want the leftovers in your fridge!

So maybe I'll sponsor a durian-tasting party here at work, to be held in the parking lot, ha ha. People around here are sensitive about the smell of COFFEE, so can you imagine how much they'd freak over a durian? I think that most of the women here would try it, but I don't think any of the men would come near it with a 10-foot pole. They stick to things like Wendy's, Lean Cuisine, or the same sandwich every day for years. I guess to get the durian here I'll have to tie a bag onto the outside of the car so my car doesn't get stunk up, ha ha.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

I'll Be Back Up On My Feet

Click here to listen to the soundtrack for this post.

I've got to get back on my feet.

There are a few things I just haven't been doing. Like feeding my kids and myself actual food. We have eaten SO much fast food over the past few months. So much sugar/candy. So much junk. We've had every opportunity to eat well. We haven't been inundated with treats nor holiday parties. We've had plenty of money to buy good groceries. I just haven't gotten around to it. Today we've eaten toast, Wendy's, cookies, and brownies. The youngest two also fought over the last hot dog (and I never buy hot dogs!). Nice. I used to make detailed menu plans and grocery lists and follow them. I looked in my planner and the last weekly menu plan was from August, the week before TheEx left for Houston. I know I've made a few more menu plans since then, but I used to do it diligently. I feel so gross from all the junk. My skin looks terrible. I crave sugar and it does taste good, but I dread eating it because it's just so gross. I just feel 'ick'.

Another big thing is getting a decent amount of sleep at a regular time. I was always so good at that until about 3 years ago. I progressively got worse until I was going to bed at 2-3 am many nights and regularly getting around 5 hours of sleep. I did better for a week or two, but I've gotten back to the very late and wildly variable bedtimes recently. One night it will be 2 am, the next night 9 pm. I feel exhausted and out of it most of the time.

I have a lot of goals or intentions for the coming year. But I think the two I'll focus on first are good food and good rest.

Anyway, this was actually meant to be a forward-looking uplifting post, because I got thinking of that Monkees song I linked to, and it's a fun happy song :-)

Awesome Christmas Present

In order to get yesterday's negativity off the top spot on my blog, check out what I got from my mom for Christmas:



Awesome, huh?!?